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Hawaii Health Department warns about influenza outbreaks in COVID-19, high school prom




Hawaii Health Department published a special edition today COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) Cluster report on outbreaks of both coronavirus and influenza A associated with high school proms on Oahu.

DOH stopped publishing the bi-weekly cluster report in early January, but will publish it if special circumstances are required.

“As the number of cases increases, the state has noticed an increase in clusters associated with large school events,” DOH said in a cluster report.

Health officials said the high school sought help from DOH in April when 37 students attending the prom reported illness with common respiratory symptoms.

More than 300 individuals, including students and chaperones, participated in the prom. DOH was able to confirm that 6 were positive for COVID-19 and 4 were positive for influenza A.

One was positive for both COVID-19 and influenza A.

Of the six that tested positive for COVID, one was unvaccinated, four were primary series vaccinations, and one was vaccination and booster immunization.

Most of them (35 out of 37 with symptoms) used the household COVID-19 test kit or went to the laboratory for testing. DOH said the number of infections was higher than reported due to limited testing.

According to health officials, about 57% of Prom participants were vaccinated with the primary series of COVID vaccines. Those who went to the prom reported that the use of masks and the increase in social distance were neither practiced nor enforced.

Health officials say that anyone attending a large school gathering, such as Prom, should be up-to-date on COVID-19 and flu shots and should not attend if they feel sick or have symptoms. Is recommended. Some ways to mitigate the outbreak are to pre-test the COVID to maintain indoor masking and social distance and ensure good ventilation at the meetinghouse.

According to DOH, masking when returning to school can prevent subsequent spread and not interfere with face-to-face learning.

“Celebrations and gatherings are safest if all participants are up-to-date with vaccinations,” DOH said. “Influenza activity is increasing across the state, and coinfection of influenza with COVID-19 or other respiratory pathogens can occur.”

Health officials also investigated another cluster containing 16 COVID-19 cases associated with a high school prom on Oahu in April.

More than 600 people participated in this prom, including both students and chaperones. A total of 10 people were tested positive for the coronavirus, while another 3 experienced symptoms and were epidemiologically associated with the outbreak.

Authorities have identified three more secondary cases in home contacts.

This prom required the use of masks indoors, except during food service.

DOH says both schools required prom participants to be vaccinated with a major series of COVID vaccines or to submit a negative test performed within 48 hours of the event.

Both proms were held indoors, which could increase the risk of COVID infection, DOH said.

At the end of the school year, many public schools in Hawaii Imposing yourself COVID-19 Event Health and Safety Rules — Some are more stringent than non-school public events. However, the rules can vary widely from school to school.

On Wednesday, DOH reported 4,249 new COVID-19 infections the previous week, bringing the total to 252,654 cases since the start of the pandemic.

The 7-day average of new cases in the state is Report in 485, Increased for 6 consecutive weeks. Meanwhile, the state’s average positive rate jumped to 11.5%, increasing seven times a week in a row.




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